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Date posted: May 26, 2006
By Near East Consulting

  • The percentage of Palestinians who said that since the January PLC elections they feel the same in terms of security that had been steadily increasing in the first two months after the elections, has plunged in the past two months from 57% in March to 42% in April to 37% now. Meanwhile, the percentage of Palestinians feeling less secure since the PLC elections reached a four-month high and stands at 34%. Whereas 64% of Fateh supporters and 33% of those who do not trust any political faction feel less secure since the PLC elections, this is the case for 15% of Hamas supporters. Also, a higher percentage of Gazans (41%) than Westbankers (31%) feel less secure since the January PLC elections.
  • 43% consider the "chaos in internal security" to be the main reason behind their feeling of insecurity, 39% blame the "deterioration in the economic conditions of their household" for feeling insecure, while respectively 7% blame either the "Israeli occupation" (7%) or "lawlessness" for their feeling of insecurity.
  • Excluding the factor of Israeli occupation, 34% of Palestinians believe that "keeping weapons only with the security forces" would improve their feeling of security, while 33% believe that "an improvement of the role and empowerment of the security forces" would have that effect. Furthermore, 20% say that "dismantling the factional military wings" would improve their feeling of security, and 20% said that "an improvement in the economic situation" would do that.
  • A majority of 62% of Palestinians said that they or their families or their property is threatened. This feeling is more pronounced among Fateh supporters (69%) and those who do not trust any faction (74%) than among Hamas supporters (48%).
  • A small majority of 53% of Palestinians believe that the PA cabinet should control the Palestinian security forces, while 47% believe that the President should control these forces. While 81% of Fateh supporters said that the President should control the Palestinian security forces, 50% of those who do not trust any faction and 18% of Hamas supporters said so.
  • A large majority of 81% of the Palestinian public supports the integration of all factional military wings in the security forces. While the support for such integration is stronger among Hamas supporters (82%) and those who do not trust any faction (87%), it is also strong among Fateh supporters (74%). Also, the support for the integration of all factional military wings into the security forces is stronger in the West Bank (83%) than in the Gaza Strip (77%).
  • 62% believe that the establishment of the new security back-up force will improve the security situation, while 38% believe that it will worsen the security situation. The belief that the establishment of the new security force will improve the security situation is more widely shared among Hamas supporters (82%) and those who do not trust any faction (50%) than among Fateh supporters (41%).
  • 63% of the Palestinian public is of the opinion that the Ministry of Interior decided to establish a new security force to help in security, while 37% think this Ministry established the new security force to compete with the existing security forces. While 84% of Hamas supporters believe that the Ministry of Interior established the new security force to help in security, 61% of Fateh supporters believe that this Ministry established this new security force to compete with the already existing security forces.
  • After explaining to the interviewees that President Abu Mazen decreed that no additional security force should be established, but that Prime Minister Ismael Hanieh said that the new back-up force should stay, 54% believe that Abu Mazen should back down, while 46% believe that Ismael Hanieh should back down. 20% of Fateh supporters believe that Abu Mazen should back down compared to 81% of Hamas supporters and 53% of those who do not trust any faction who share this belief.
  • In general, 23% of the Palestinian public blames Hamas for the current security crisis in the Gaza Strip, while 30% blame Fateh, and 47% blame both factions equally. According to factional trust 56% of Fateh supporters blame Hamas for the security crisis in the Gaza Strip, while equally 56% of Hamas supporters blame Fateh for this crisis.
  • 44% of Palestinians believe that the security crisis in the Gaza Strip will spread to the West Bank. This belief is more widely held among Fateh supporters (53%) and those who do not trust any faction (43%) than among Hamas supporters (37%). Also, this belief lives stronger in the West Bank (48%) than in the Gaza Strip (37%).
  • The view that a civil war is likely to break out is held by 45% of the Palestinian public. Fateh supporters (62%) much more than Hamas supporters (34%) and those who do not trust any faction (45) believe in the likelihood of a civil war. Also, again, a higher percentage of Palestinians in the West Bank (48%) than in the Gaza Strip (43%) believes that a civil war is likely.
  • In general, 80% support the Prisoner agreement. Support for this agreement is higher among Fateh supporters (87%) and those who do not trust any faction (86%) than among Hamas supporters (68%), and also higher in the West Bank (85%) than in the Gaza Strip (72%).
  • 63% of Palestinians believe that it is more important to seize weapons to improve internal security than to keep weapons to resist Israel. This view is more widely held among Fateh supporters (68%) and those who do not trust any faction (70%) than among Hamas supporters (56%). In addition, a higher percentage of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (70%) than in the West Bank (59%) find it more important to seize weapons to improve internal security than to keep them to resist Israel.
  • In general, 41% of Palestinians say that Hamas should maintain its position on the elimination of Israel. A higher percentage of Hamas supporters (62%) than Fateh supporters (23%) and those who do not trust any faction (33%) feel that Hamas should maintain it position on the elimination of Israel. This is also the case for a higher percentage of Westbankers (44%) than Gazans (35%). In comparison with NEC's April survey results on this issue, support for Hamas maintaining its position towards Israel has increased by 6%.
  • 22% of the Palestinian public believes that Palestinians have a partner for peace in Israel. Only last month, a mere 13% were of that opinion. The highest percentage of Palestinians believing that there is a peace partner in Israel can be found among Fateh supporters (29%).
  • 62% believe that there is a Palestinian partner for peace, while the remaining 38% believe that this is not the case.

To View the Full Survey as PDF (149 KB)

Source: Near East Consulting
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